Skip to main content

tv   Tavis Smiley  WHUT  April 24, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

7:00 pm
." good evening from -- >> good evening from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. mitt romney is one step closer to securing his party's nomination. and the battle is still within the gop and moderates and social conservatives. also tonight from the upcoming film, the avengers actor clark gregg is here. george pataki and clark gregg coming up right now. >> every community has a martin luther king boulevard. it's the cornerstone we all know. it's not just a street or boulevard, but a place where walmart stands together with your community to make every day better.
7:01 pm
tavis smiley. with every question and every answer, nationwide insurance is proud to join tavis in working to improve financial literacy and remove obstacles to economic a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] tavis: george pataki served three terms as governor of new york, following his time in the state legislature and as the mayor. he joins us from new york. it is an honor to have you on this program. >> it is an honor of being on with you. tavis: you were on most people's lists a couple of years ago as may be one who would run this time around. first tonight, why did you decide not to run? and do you regret it when you see a lot of folks in your party having trouble coalescing around mr. romney? >> let me start at the end there. i think there is not really a problem coalescing around governor romney. it was a difficult, long, drawn-
7:02 pm
out primary process. probably too many debates, but i think there is a growing consensus that we have our nominees. is governor romney and it is time to get behind him in the general. i did think about going on for it myself, but to be perfectly honest, i love what i'm doing in the private sector. i'm having such a great time. i spent more than 20 years in public office. i thought i owed it to my family and to myself to have some privacy where i can go out and work hard in the private sector and enjoy what i'm doing. tavis: i take part of your answer, the part that you are having fun, i accept that. the other part i'm not so convinced yet. do you honestly believe that the conservative wing of your party really has started to line up behind him and that he can convince them that he ought to have their votes? >> tavisi think you have raisedt
7:03 pm
exactly right. they have started to line up behind governor romney. as the campaign continues to move forward and is no longer internal fighting among republicans but a contrast between governor romney and president obama, if i do not think there will be a problem at all with conservatives in my party. they will understand that when you look at these last 3.5 years, that policies have been a disaster for our country. and governor romney clearly represents a tremendous improvement over them. it is a process that has begun. i hope it accelerates. i have no doubt as to the outcome. we will have a unified republican party. and hopefully a lot of republicans and democrats will understand and even for hope and change, to coin the phrase. tavis: none of us are perfect, but in the context of your comments about mr. romney, show
7:04 pm
me how you think he campaigns going forward. because as you know, a great debate about the edges get, about his being a flip-flopper. he will have to move toward the middle to try to speak to moderate americans. >> i think he has spoken to moderate americans. he did it as governor of massachusetts. him and a lot of -- there have not been a lot of republican governors in massachusetts. his campaign is with sound policies that appeal across the political spectrum. but i do think, particularly to me, one of the disasters in the last 3.5 years has been a massive trillion dollar plus deficits that are stealing from our children and grandchildren future. i think that governor romney has an opportunity to outline a detailed program to reduce that deficit along the lines of president obama's own bipartisan
7:05 pm
commission, the simpson-bowles commission that he threw in the garbage because it did not meet his ideology of expansion in the government and taking more from those who work hard and have small businesses. i think governor romney has a tremendous opportunity here. i'm confident that he will seize that opportunity. i am optimistic not just for the election, but more importantly, that is what it is about. tavis: here again i am 50/50. part of your answer i agree and part i am skeptical of. >> that is pretty good. tavis: [laughter] i agree that simpson-bowles has been disregarded. the president ought to make -- take the recommendations. you and i agree on that issue. and i am not so convinced that mr. romney can sell the american people on deficit reduction at a time when there are three other issues more important to them, namely, jobs, jobs, jobs.
7:06 pm
>> you are absolutely right. but i think they are totally related. one of the big things that -- that is looming over our economy, and one of the reasons people are not hiring is because of the uncertainty. people know that you cannot continue to run a trillion dollar or more deficits forever. the one thing the president has made clear if he is reelected, he will massively raise taxes on small businesses. if i may small-business person, looking at the uncertainty except that i will go get clobbered on taxes, i do not go and hire two or three people at this time. i think coming up with an intelligent plan, like samson- balls, which not only -- like the simpson-bowles, which not only close the loopholes, but it is better than the
7:07 pm
president's own plan, which he had to throw into the garbage because it does not redistribute money the way he wanted to. also on the jobs issue, with a lot like that, we would see our economy take off, particularly in hiring, which has been a disappointment to say the least over the last few years. tavis: i suspect if mr. romney is smart, you ask your advice about this continuously throughout this campaign. that is, how he strikes a balance between the anger, the angst, they are right vitriol that a lot of people have at a place called wall street. how do you talk about a level playing field? how do you talk about income inequality? how do you speak to the issue of poverty in this country without demonizing wall street for a guy like mr. romney who has made a lot of money there. it is what occupy all over the
7:08 pm
country is all about. >> i hate to say it, but i agree with you again. there is the anchor out there. it is not just at wall street, but also washington. where people's anger is most intense is at those who got bailouts from the federal government, tens of billions of dollars a, in some instances hundreds of billions of responsible to the american people when it comes to the pay back some of the ceos that the government owned or government bailed out companies are getting. i think that is an opportunity for romney. not to go against business exactly, not to go against the financial institutions we have in this country, but the fact that we have this partnership essentially between big government and big finance. they made out like bandits and the taxpayer was on the short
7:09 pm
end of the stick. i do not think you go after wall street. it is an engine of job growth. but you can hold those who have billions of dollars from the federal government accountable. they have a responsibility beyond their company and their shareholders, to the american people and taxpayers. that is how you can draw the distinction. tavis: how would you on a personal level advise mr. romney over allegations that he not only flip-flop, but the way he made his wealth. his ninth father used to run general motors off. his father made money -- his father used to run general motors. his father made money making stuff. he has made money-making deals and putting people out of work. americans are not happy with people who make money putting people out of work. >> first of all, this is not -- this is an aspirational society.
7:10 pm
people look up to those who have worked hard and play fair and in the process, done well economically in this country. that is the case with governor romney. when you are invested in dozens and dozens of companies, some are not going to succeed. but he can point to those companies that have grown, that have been created, that created tens of thousands of jobs here in the united states. and by the way, when governor romney's investments went bad, if they were not the taxpayer money. they were not have a billion dollars of our money dumped into solyndra, which went bad, costing as all money. it was his investors' money, who understood the risk. that is the nature of america. you invest and you hold for reward. you all that hard work, creativity, the entrepreneurial spirit works, but it doesn't, you lose your money. not when president obama is giving out millions and billions of dollars to his cronies to
7:11 pm
have been donors in his campaigns. when they get that money, it is the taxpayer that gets hit with the bill. i think there is a difference between someone who has, yes, been very successful, but doing it in the private sector, and this administration who has had failures largely because of their cronies. tavis: super pac's are in control. we can do better than that, can't we? >> when candidate obama in 2008 became the first presidential candidates to blow up public finance, every candidate up to that point said we will take public finance, the matching funds and live by the rules that congress has put in place. in fact, in 2008, senator mccain lived by public finance.
7:12 pm
barack obama did not. i think that has blown the doors off what you can and cannot do. because governor romney cannot be in a position where the billion dollar obama buddies come in with a super pac and his supporters are unable to defend and balance the equation to the amount possible. and to quote president obama, is about fairness. he broke the rules. and now need to treat ourselves a fairly in response to his actions. >> about $1.4 billion -- tavis: about $1.4 billion between the two of them. and that is not including super pac's. i think it is too much. mr. romney campaign in the greater tristate area in pennsylvania with a guy named
7:13 pm
margo rubio. but what kind of running mate should mr. romney be looking for this around? >> first, i am unhappy to say i think senator rubio would be an excellent choice as a running mate. -- i am happy to say i think senator rubio would be an excellent choice as a running mate. there are other choices as well that our excellent choices, like gov. macdonald in virginia. and rob portman in ohio. there's one criteria. that is, you choose a person that you believe if something happens to you, can be a great person -- president for this country. and then work beyond that. do they share their -- your philosophies? i think governor romney has a number of attractive options. and by the way, he will clean up in new york tomorrow and we hope those remaining candidates still in after tomorrow will say, ok, he is the nominee. it is time to focus on electing governor romney president.
7:14 pm
tavis: gov. george pataki is a three-term former governor of the empire state. always good to talk to you. it always enjoy your time. >> good to be on with you. tavis: up next, the adventures actor clark gregg. tavis: clark gregg is a talented actor and writer and director. he is back as secret agent phil colston for the latest installment of the margarine -- the marble franchise "the avengers." it includes an all-star cast. here's a scene from "the avengers." >> it is an honor to me you officially. i sort of met you. i mean, i watched you while you were sleeping. i mean, i was present while you were unconscious on the ice. you know, it is just a huge honor to have you on board.
7:15 pm
>> i know i'm the man for the job. >> oh, you are, absolutely. we've made some modifications to the uniform. i had a little design input. >> uniform question -- uniform? are the stars and stripes of old-fashioned? >> with everything that's about to come to light, but people might just need a little old- fashioned. tavis: good to have you on the program. what do you think is about this marvel series? almost 50 years since we were introduced to these characters at hollywood still love this stuff. >> i know, it just keeps going. it seems to have changed over the years. the early superman, batman, is all very black and white. one of the things that marvel did, especially with these characters in the 1970's, but is
7:16 pm
reexamine the concept of there with him. the people that were carrying this responsibility and exercising this kind of authority have a lot of issues themselves. i think they built an interesting template in terms of having really top-notch the actors. when i got a call to be in iron man, i was already a fan as a kid. they got robert downey and jeff bridges to do this? i could not sign on fast enough. tavis: i wonder how you would compare in contrast how these characters took hold, news of the the heroism of 50 years ago -- vis-à-vis the air was my 50 years ago and what we lack in heroes today. >> that is a great question. as someone who has studied it a little bit, there's nothing
7:17 pm
about the conflicts of world war i end of world war ii that anyone could feel nostalgic about, but it seems to have gotten so much more complicated in terms of what is evil and who should be fought against and who should take the mantle to do that. when you watch this movie, it is hard not to think about the united states in terms of being deemed by others sometimes, and by ourselves as those who protect the world, and then very much resented for that. you presume you know how people want to be productive, and the ramifications of that. -- how people want to be protected, and the ramifications of that. when i watched it, it was oh, it's apollo. it's the greeks. it is the stuff we have been in 243000 or 4000 years. and -- been in 243000 or 4000
7:18 pm
years. there's a lot of rest. -- there's a lot of hubris. tavis: being one of these, as a small part, and a few films later you are a major character. part of it obviously is the way they write these things. but they did not think they have the right -- if they did not think they have the right actor playing the agent, they would not expand our role. that has got to make you feel good. >> it is so much more often the case with a character actor, and you reach a certain age and you go, they probably could not expand this. not only do they not expanded, but you go to the premier and you say, i would not have brought you all with me. i swear i was in this more in the script. tavis: [laughter] >> that never happened. as someone who loved comics as a
7:19 pm
d, i love these movies and the way they put together this amazing cast. there is a certain time when you go to a super hero movie and you are going down to acy studio and try not to look at anyone's costumes too much. -- down to a cheap studio and not trying to look at and with costumes to much. this is not like that. i love myself walking on to the deck of the health care and doing things like birds banner -- and the deck of the he liocarrier doing things like an bruce jenner. tavis: you keep leading me down those one of about of conversation. -- this wonderful path of conversation. i've got myself in trouble many times on this program doing that. but i'm going to follow you anyway. you said something a moment ago
7:20 pm
that i've heard expressed by women on this program over the years. maybe i have -- i do not recall -- heard that kind of sentiment expressed by a man. and more accurately, a white man. which is "at this age" it does not tend to happen this way. i've heard women say that you get to a certain age and it is hard to find higher quality roles, roles that have been expanded instead of front. -- instead of shrinking. tell me what you meant by that. >> i think that is absolutely true of women, and it is strange. i guess, as a white male who looks like he might be a federal agent of some kind, there will always be a certain amount of opportunity. tavis: it is the glasses. >> i get to work in a suit a lot. when i got the script for this
7:21 pm
movie and i was -- the way this has always worked because they are so secretive, i was doing a scene in iron man 2 and they said to add a line where you say you are going to mexico. and i say, what is in new mexico? and they said, no one talked to you? you have a big part in store. it is the gift that keeps on giving. and then i was at a conference and they came and said, you have a major role in the avengers. as soon as i was sure was not been severely pranksed, i thought, i'm going to walk through and give the whole, a java jews and it's going to be over. -- the hulk a java juice and
7:22 pm
then it will be over. tavis: [laughter] >> to a certain extent, i feel like if german was -- jeremy linn was 43, i'd be on the bench. i just keep swinging. i keep taking my shots and hoping to get in the game. and somebody put me in the game after i had certainly considered, well, all still be doing fbi guys. it will be fun. thtavis: you also figured out years ago that getting in the game is not just when somebody called your number. writing, directing, even those as well. >> you can feel like you are a song on somebody else's mixed tape. i was lucky i started out in this amazing theater company in new york. it was started by a class at
7:23 pm
nyu, a bunch of great people. we just got lucky. we spent the first several years of college trying to bring somebody something, you know, a sloppy. -- a slower speed. . slurpee. you would work during the day and go out at night and you took a degree of ownership. and you would go and try and take your shot. and then i would go and say, i want to try out this los angeles thing a little bit. there was a lot of sitting around. and i like golf, but not that much. i tried to write, tried to make films. i got lucky and was able to work as a screenwriter for a while. i got to make a film. there are ways your mind can get exercise in the writing and directing process that i would
7:24 pm
not want to do without now, in the same way i would not want to do without the visceral playing in the game aspect of being an actor. tavis: do your fans know your wife is? a fine actress herself, jennifer grey. and you have a 10-year-old together, i think. >> yes, we do. tavis: you have a 10-year-old. are they impressed by any of this? >> the short answer is, no. tavis: [laughter] >> the only time is ever got exciting to my daughter was when was bossmarvel and she thought she'd -- when disney bought marvel and she thought she might get to see some of her favorite disney stores. but she started to see some of the stuff for the adventures and she saw star-ledger hanson, who is as bad as anybody, and -- she saw scarlett johansson who is as
7:25 pm
bad as anybody. the matter how progress of your politics are at home, she still suddenly at 3 years old or four years old saying, i want to be a princess and i want to have a prince. and i said, that is okay, but you need to be able to begin in a fight. that is when you need to see this -- that is why you need to come see these movies. tavis: i am honored to have you on the program. that is our show tonight. be sure to download the tavis app. thank you for watching and as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with robert draper on his book about the dysfunction of the u.s. congress. that is the time.
7:26 pm
we will seyou then. >> every community has a martin luther king boulevard. it's the cornerstone we all know. it's not just a street or boulevard, but a place where walmart stands together with your community to make every day better. >> nationwide insurance supports -- >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television]
7:27 pm
7:28 pm
7:29 pm
welcome back to "this old house."
left
right